Coyote Sighting In Salem!

Michael was walking Winnie this morning and as he came up our street he looked ahead and saw a “really big” coyote coming toward him. The coyote took a left and ran into our yard. He and Winnie took a right and came right into the house. We’re not really afraid of them, but it’s a good idea to keep coyotes and family dogs separate. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on Winnie when we’re in the yard.  The coyotes are here year round but they seem to suddenly appear around early February, with lots of neighborhood sightings from now until late spring.

Of course after I got almost everyone out the door (my little guy is recuperating from his late night superbowl viewing, I’ll run him up to school soon) I had to head out there with my camera and see if I could take a photo of the tracks to share with you.

S/he came from the street, then went across the yard and down the hill.IMG_0573

The tracks look pretty cool up close.IMG_0574

It went right up the path in the middle of the photo and past the kids’ fort.

I didn’t go all the way up there because I was wearing crocks and my fluffy robe. Of course that meant I landed on my you know what.

Crocks and coyote tracking aren’t such a good mix 😉

Enjoy everything today!



Winnie’s New Doo

Yesterday morning my little girl took this photo of Winnie hiding in the closet before school. Sometimes he just likes to camp out under the coats and surprise me. When I least expect it I reach in there for something and he moves and I scream and he thinks it’s quite funny.


He didn’t actually scare me yesterday but he needed a good wash and some grooming, so just after the above photo was taken I made an appointment and took him up the street for a nice bath and trim. I asked them to cut out around his face so he could see better and not be so messy looking.

Here he is now!


I’m getting some push back around here about his new look. My family thinks he looks like a sheep. Some other words used to describe his new doo were “ridiculous”, “he looks like a poodle”, “I can’t take him seriously” and “he doesn’t look like a real dog.”

I think he looks like a real dog! He’s my baby! And now he’s a cute, soft little puffball.

He’s the only one who keeps me company while I work on these financial aid forms.

When he’s not camping out in the closet.

Stay warm today! Winnie and I are!

Love,  Michele


Here’s my guy, Winnie, also known as Winnie the Wonderdog and Winnie the Pooh and my sixth child..

He really is kind of a Winston.

We adopted Winnie four years ago when my oldest son was thirteen.  He begged and begged for a dog. I had never had a dog, so I wasn’t completely opposed to the idea.  My husband had grown up with a few very special family dogs. He loves dogs but he was well aware of the commitment that we’d be making. I really didn’t get it.  One day when Will asked me for the 557th time if he could put an ad on Craigslist I was in the middle of something and said “okay”…

The ad read:

“Family looking for a hypoallergenic dog who wouldn’t mind living with five kids, two cats, a bunny, two parakeets, and a flock of chickens”.

In my mind, this seemed very safe. What was the chance of someone answering this ad?  Of course, I was proven wrong. A very nice lady answered almost immediately. Her family had a four year old cock-a-poo that needed a home. Her sons were away at college, she worked all day, and her husband had some health concerns, making daytime walks very difficult. Would we want to meet Winnie?  We researched the breed and talked with Michael. Of course the kids were thrilled, especially after they saw his photo. Michael and I agreed to go by ourselves to meet Winnie on a Saturday. I remember that first meeting well. We rang the doorbell and immediately heard a very deep, loud bark. I looked at Michael with a raised eyebrow and said “I don’t know about this”… but we went in and had a visit. The visit turned into a walk around the block, the walk around the block turned into a weekend visit at our house and the weekend visit never ended. He stayed, and we’ve never looked back. Winnie became the center of our family.

The mix of poodle and cocker spaniel really works. He is cute and cuddly and very, very  intelligent. He’s eight now so he’s a little more relaxed than when he first arrived. One of the things that amazes me the most is that he never lived with children and had very limited exposure to them yet he has adapted remarkably well.  He’s great with kids and extremely tolerant of anything that comes his way.

Things like this

and this

oh wait, that’s Maddie, the cat. She’s his nemisis.  She eats his food and he just deals with it. He hadn’t had experience with cats either. Maddie is in charge. She jumps out at him when he walks by. Poor Winnie, I don’t know how he does it sometimes.

But, he does. He loves us all unconditionally.  He guards the front door with his life.. it’s his job!

Winnie needs lots of love, care and exercise. He gets that with us!

He brings us together, helps us to work together and entertains us daily.

Everyone should fall in love with a dog at least once. I’m so glad we did!